Verizon sues small California town over restrictive wireless installation ordinance

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is taking Capitola, California to court over an ordinance it says is so restrictive it effectively bars the carrier from installing new wireless facilities.

According to Courthouse News Service, which obtained a copy of the complaint, Verizon says Capitola's regulation of wireless services is in violation of the United States Communications Act.

The dispute arose when Capitola, a quaint little beach town, took umbrage with Verizon's intentions to install new wireless facilities to better deal with increasing network demands. According to the report, Verizon Wireless applied for a permit in July 2015 and Capitola waited six months before rejecting the request, citing that no antenna can be built or installed within 300 feet of a residential building.

"While this upgrade is significant to Verizon Wireless and its customers, it is utterly insignificant from any legitimate land-use perspective," Verizon said in the complaint. "Placing small antennas and ancillary equipment on the roof of a commercial building, with the antennas concealed inside a faux chimney, would not cause any significant visual, noise, or other impacts properly regulated under the Capitola zoning code."

Verizon is seeking a permanent ban on the enforcement of Capitola's ordinance.

This isn't the first time Verizon has resorted to litigation against cities with restrictive ordinances governing cellular installations. In July 2015, Verizon sued Taunton, Massachusetts, citing a similar violation of the Telecommunications Act in denying Verizon's permit request.

According to the report, both the city of Capitola and Verizon declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.

For more:
- read this Courthouse News Service article

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